The www.blacksodbayemigration.ie website launched by Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre, Eachléim in July 2013, now has a link to a new interactive ‘sister site’ via “Latest News”. The new site provides a focal point for the descendants to interact with. We thank them for already leaving messages, photographs and stories of their ancestors. Many descendants are also longing to connect with possible existing relatives in the home place of their forebears’. Since the launch of the site Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre has welcomed back descendants of Tighe, Ginnelly, Barrett, Dixon, Donnelly, Heveran and Kennedy families returning from the USA to Blacksod Bay to see where their people boarded the ship, that was to bring them to the “New World”
Blacksod Bay Emigration remembers the people of Erris, Achill and Newport West, who emigrated on the ships from Blacksod Bay 1883-84 assisted by “The Tuke Fund”. It is hoped that the database will help the descendants of the emigrants in North America and Canada to engage with their relations and the community in the West of Ireland, and that their shared experiences will re-establish a bond between the Belmullet and Achill areas and those areas in the United States and Canada where the emigrants settled. This is the start of a process which will strengthen the connection between the descendants of the emigrants and the home place of their ancestors. The people left together as a community with a sense of identity, they are now being remembered in this way.
“Our history is their history and theirs is ours. By remembering the people who left we welcome back their descendants.”